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A delegation of female students of secondary schools, across the three senatorial districts of Enugu State, has commended Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi for his administration’s outstanding commitment in promoting the wellbeing of the state’s children, most especially the girl child.
The students made the commendation when the governor wife’s pet project, Ugo’s Touch of Life Foundation (U-TOLF) led them to pay an advocacy visit to Gov. Ugwuanyi, at the Government House, Enugu, in commemoration of this year’s International Day of the Girl Child, which took place on October 11.
Speaking, the students appreciated the governor “for your concern for the welfare of children and women”, adding that “this is evident through the signing of the Child Rights and Responsibility Act into Law and further domestication of the law in the state through establishment of family courts and a rehabilitation home for vulnerable women”.
They disclosed that the law has been ensuring the protection of children from all forms of violence and abuse, stressing that “children in Enugu State are empowered to seek for justice when their rights are infringed upon. For this, we are immensely grateful”.
The students who applauded the governor’s swift and silent responses to the plight of the oppressed and destitute, expressed gratitude to him for his fatherly and timely intervention in the case of the 10-year old girl child, Nneoma Nnadi, who was physically abused by her guardians.
“Not only did you (Gov. Ugwuanyi) direct that she receives the best medical attention by taking charge of her hospital bills, you also offered full scholarship for the child up to University level, provided funds for welfare of the widowed mother and her family and equally directed that the Ministry of Justice works to ensure that the perpetrators of the violence are brought to book.
“This demonstrates your zero tolerance to gender based violence, abuse and violation of the rights of a child, support for education and empowerment of women. On behalf of the child and every child in the state, we say thank you”.
Commending Gov. Ugwuanyi for acceding to their request for creation of recreation centres in the state, the students said: “Your Excellency, Last year on the event of the Day of the African Child, we requested that new recreation centres be created in the state and the revitalization of the existing tourist and recreation sites.
“Today, we are excited to witness the manifestation of these requests, tourist sites and recreational centres are springing up in different corners of the state.
“Noticeably in the centre of the metropolis is the Unity Park, beautiful to behold, modern yet retaining its natural features. We are confident that this development will be highly beneficial to Enugu residents both young and old and also attract more tourists into the state. Thank you for hearkening to our call”.
The female students also congratulated the governor on his administration’s massive strides in the education sector, especially in primary and secondary schools across all the three senatorial districts of the state through the Post Primary Schools Management Board (PPSMB), saying that “over a hundred schools can boast of equipped new class room blocks and offices. We currently enjoy improved learning environment”.
They equally commended the governor for his administration’s giant steps to ensure that Enugu State is placed on the national map as one of the best states in the WASH sector, through the recent workshop, organized by the State Ministry of Water Resources and U-TOLF in collaboration with UNICEF, for the development of the state’s roadmap for the attainment of the “Open Defecation Free (ODF)” goal by 2025.
“We believe that this step will position the state to access more funding to improve sanitation in the state, especially in our schools. In no distant time, we want to boast of a state where all children have access to good sanitary facilities. Thank you so much for your commitment to improved healthcare for your people”, they added.
Responding, Gov. Ugwuanyi who appreciated the remarkable contributions of U-TOLF in touching lives, reiterated his administration’s commitment to change the narrative in girl child protection, education, opportunities and empowerment in the state.
Disclosing the state government’s willingness to partner U-TOLF for the benefit of the girl child and women in keeping with the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the governor maintained that his administration has been in the vanguard of the global agenda through the passage of the Child Rights Law in 2016; establishment of six family courts across the three senatorial districts of the state; provision of free medical, legal and counseling services for victims of rape especially women and girls at Tamar SARC centre; consequential increase in girl child school enrollment, and rescue and rehabilitation of over 1000 young girls who were victims of unwanted pregnancy.
Other sustainable policies and bold actions, according to the governor, “rescue and re-union of over 50 physically abused children (mostly girls) with their families; award of scholarship to some victims of the domestic violence; provision of shelter at the FSP Children’s Home and Oasis of Hope for the Needy for over 100 vulnerable children, and establishment of School Gender Based Clubs”.
On his administration’s commitment in encouraging girls to engage in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) courses, the governor pointed out the state government, through the well-resourced Science, Technical and Vocational Schools Management Board (STVSMB) has vigorously promoted STEM education in the state.
Consequently, he stated that his administration has improved the infrastructure in the 295 Secondary Schools and 41 Science Technical and Vocational (STV) schools in the state, recruited professionally trained science, technical and mathematics teachers for secondary and STV schools, continued training and retraining of teachers and provision of science and technical equipment for schools as well as provision of computers and accessories to basic, secondary, science and technical schools.
Other measures include “conduct of annual science and technology fair at the basic education level; participation in local and national science, technology and mathematics competition, formation of science and mathematics clubs in our schools and formation of Junior Engineers, Technicians and Scientist’s Clubs in our schools”.